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Engage with Grand Canyon University's (GCU) vibrant Spiritual Life community and take a deeper look at the various ministries that are happening around the world, in your backyard and on our campus. From weekly devotionals to Chapel highlights and features that reflect God's work in the hearts of our students, staff and faculty, each article is presented by GCU's Spiritual Life team and our special guests. We hope that God will challenge and encourage you through His words and the stories about His people that inspire us all.
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Chapel: Religion vs. Relationship

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Chapel at GCU logo

By Lauren Abraham
College of Humanities and Social Sciences Student, Bachelor of Arts in Communications

Riccardo Stewart from Redemption Church in Tempe, AZ spoke at Grand Canyon University’s Chapel service this week. He delivered a compelling message about the importance of having a personal relationship with Christ.

Riccardo started by explaining the difference between religion and relationship. While religion consists of the activities we do to make ourselves right with God and others, having a personal relationship with Christ means we know we can never do anything to truly make ourselves right before Him.

God is not impressed by our religious activity, but He is well-pleased by His Son. Therefore, if we accept Jesus into our lives, God is well-pleased with us. Through our personal relationship with Him, we are saved.

Riccardo discussed Philippians 3:1-10, where Paul talks about the importance of knowing Christ, gaining Christ and being found in Him.

Knowing Christ does not simply mean having knowledge about Him. It means knowing Him in a relationship sense. We are to give ourselves fully to Him, because of His great love for us.

In order to gain Christ, we must acknowledge our failures. When we acknowledge that we are in need of a Savior, we can accept His gift of eternal life through having a relationship with Him. To be found in Christ, we must love Him, because He first loved us. This comes through accepting Him as a gift and putting our faith in Him.

We live in a society that says we have to do things to get somewhere. For this reason, it is hard for us to accept God’s love as a gift. However, it is important to keep in mind that we do not have a “spiritual banking account.” We cannot do things to make God love us any more or any less.

Ultimately, it is important to remember God loves us no matter what, and we are fully known and fully accepted by Him. Rather than doing good works to earn His approval, our obedience should flow from His love and the personal relationship we have with Him.

Watch the full service below:

Want to learn more about Chapel services at Grand Canyon University? Visit our website for more information.

About Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, Digital Copywriter for GCU Blogs

Lauren Abraham is a junior at Grand Canyon University. She was born and raised in Phoenix and enjoys living here. She has loved her time at GCU so far, as she has made many friendships and discovered what she is passionate about. Currently, she is studying communication with a minor in marketing. She has always loved writing and working with people, and one day hopes to become an editor or journalist. In her free time, she enjoys staying active and spending time with her family and friends.

Read more about Lauren